Unveiling the Mystical Charms of Maa Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati

29th May 2023
Photo of Unveiling the Mystical Charms of Maa Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati by Junmoni Kalita
Day 1

In the heart of the enchanting city of Guwahati, nestled amidst lush greenery and overlooking the mighty Brahmaputra River, lies a sacred abode that has attracted devotees and curious travelers for centuries - the Maa Kamakhya Temple. Steeped in legends and shrouded in mystery, this temple holds immense spiritual significance and promises an extraordinary experience for all who visit.

The Significance and Story of Maa Kamakhya Temple

Maa Kamakhya Temple is one of the most revered Shakti Peethas in India, symbolizing the power of the divine feminine. Legend has it that when Lord Shiva danced in grief carrying the charred remains of his beloved wife, Sati, her yoni (female reproductive organ) fell at the spot where the temple now stands. Thus, Maa Kamakhya is worshipped as the goddess of fertility and womanhood.

The temple itself is a masterpiece of architectural splendor, with its distinctive red walls and towering spires. Inside, the sanctum sanctorum houses a stone symbolizing the goddess, covered with a red cloth and adorned with flowers. The atmosphere is charged with devotion and spiritual energy, as devotees offer prayers and seek blessings from Maa Kamakhya.

How to Reach the Temple

Reaching the Maa Kamakhya Temple is convenient, as it is situated approximately 8 kilometers from the heart of Guwahati. The nearest airport, Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, connects major cities across India. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.

If you prefer traveling by train, Guwahati Junction Railway Station is well-connected to various parts of the country. Once you arrive, taxis and auto-rickshaws are readily available to take you to the temple.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Maa Kamakhya Temple is during the Ambubachi Mela, a grand festival held in June, when the temple is adorned with flowers and devotees gather to seek the goddess's blessings. However, if you prefer a quieter atmosphere, visit during the winter months of November to February when the weather is pleasant.

Where to Stay

Guwahati offers a range of accommodations to suit every budget. From luxurious hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses and homestays, you'll find ample options near the Maa Kamakhya Temple. Some popular areas to consider for accommodation include Paltan Bazaar, Fancy Bazaar, and Ganeshguri. It's advisable to book in advance, especially during the festival season, to secure the best deals.

People and Culture

Guwahati, the gateway to the Northeastern region of India, is known for its warm hospitality and vibrant cultural heritage. The locals, predominantly belonging to Assamese and tribal communities, are friendly and welcoming. Immerse yourself in the rich traditions and customs by interacting with the locals, trying out the local cuisine, and attending cultural events.

Nearby Places of Importance

Guwahati and its surrounding areas offer a plethora of fascinating places to explore. Here are some additional places of interest:

1. Assam State Museum: Located in the heart of Guwahati, the Assam State Museum showcases a rich collection of artifacts, sculptures, and artworks that depict the state's history, culture, and heritage.

2. Sualkuchi: Known as the "Manchester of Assam," Sualkuchi is a serene village renowned for its exquisite silk weaving. Witness the intricate craftsmanship and purchase beautiful silk garments and traditional Assamese textiles.

3. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary: Situated about 50 kilometers from Guwahati, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a dense population of one-horned rhinoceroses. Take a thrilling jeep safari and spot these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

4. Hajo: Located approximately 30 kilometers from Guwahati, Hajo is a pilgrimage site that encompasses a harmonious blend of Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist religious sites. Explore the Hayagriva Madhava Temple, the Powa Mecca Mosque, and the Kedareswara Temple, all in close proximity.

5. Umananda Island: Situated in the Brahmaputra River, Umananda Island is a blissful retreat known for its Umananda Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Enjoy a boat ride to the island and soak in the tranquility while admiring the scenic surroundings.

6. Madan Kamdev: Located around 40 kilometers from Guwahati, Madan Kamdev is an archaeological site known for its intricate sculptures and ancient ruins. Explore the remnants of the 10th-century Kamakhya-style temples and witness the architectural marvels.

7. Dipor Bil: A haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts, Dipor Bil is a freshwater lake located on the outskirts of Guwahati. Embark on a boat ride and spot a variety of resident and migratory bird species, including pelicans, storks, and ducks.

8. Guwahati Planetarium: Ideal for science enthusiasts and stargazers, the Guwahati Planetarium offers educational and captivating shows about astronomy and the night sky. Witness mesmerizing visuals and gain a deeper understanding of the universe.

These are just a few of the many captivating places to explore in and around Guwahati. Each destination offers its unique charm, allowing you to experience the diverse cultural and natural beauty of the region. Plan your itinerary wisely to make the most of your visit to this enchanting part of India.

Additionally, the Kaziranga National Park, famous for its one-horned rhinoceroses, is a must-visit destination near Guwahati. Embark on a thrilling wildlife safari and witness the majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

The total cost of the trip to Maa Kamakhya Temple can vary depending on factors such as travel preferences, accommodation choices, duration of stay, and personal expenses. Here's a rough estimate to give you an idea:

1. Travel Expenses:

- Airfare/Train fare: Prices vary based on your location and mode of transportation. It is advisable to book in advance to secure the best deals.

- Local Transportation: Taxis, auto-rickshaws, or public buses can be used to reach the temple and explore Guwahati. Approximate costs will depend on the distance traveled and mode of transport chosen.

2. Accommodation:

- Guwahati offers a wide range of accommodation options. Budget guesthouses and homestays can cost around INR 500-1500 ($7-20) per night, while mid-range hotels range from INR 1500-3000 ($20-40) per night. Luxury hotels can cost upwards of INR 5000 ($70) per night.

3. Food and Drinks:

- Assamese cuisine is known for its flavors and variety. You can enjoy delicious local dishes at affordable prices in local eateries and restaurants. Approximate costs for meals can range from INR 200-500 ($3-7) per person, depending on the establishment and your preferences.

4. Miscellaneous Expenses:

- Entry fees: There might be a nominal entry fee to visit certain areas of the temple complex.

- Shopping: Guwahati is famous for its handloom and handicraft products. If you wish to indulge in shopping, set aside a budget for souvenirs and local artifacts.

- Tips and gratuities: It's customary to leave a tip for good service at hotels, restaurants, and with tour guides.

Things to Remember While Visiting Kamakhya Temple

1. Dress Code: As it is a place of worship, it is advisable to dress modestly and conservatively. Wearing traditional attire or clothes that cover the shoulders and knees is recommended.

2. Photography: Photography may be restricted in certain areas of the temple complex. Respect the rules and guidelines regarding photography to maintain the sanctity of the temple.

3. Footwear: Shoes and other footwear are not allowed inside the temple premises. You can leave them at designated areas or carry a bag to keep them.

4. Timings: Check the opening and closing timings of the temple to plan your visit accordingly. It's advisable to arrive early to avoid crowds, especially during festivals and auspicious days.

5. Respect Local Customs: Be respectful of the customs and traditions followed by the locals. Seek guidance from temple authorities or locals if you have any questions or concerns.

Visiting the Maa Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati is not only a spiritual journey but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture and natural beauty of the region. So, plan your trip, experience the divinity, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

The carving on the walls of temple

Photo of Kamakhya Temple by Junmoni Kalita

Maa Kamakhya Temple

Photo of Kamakhya Temple by Junmoni Kalita

Statue of Hindu Goddess on wall of the temple

Photo of Kamakhya Temple by Junmoni Kalita

Mighty Brahmaputra

Photo of Kamakhya Temple by Junmoni Kalita